“Wonder what hotels in the golden age of rail travel were like? Step into the lobby of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London and you get a pretty good idea. This grand railway-hotel - designed by Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott - was a landmark, luxury hotel when it opened in 1873 with its ornate, red-brick, Gothic Revival looks. After an ignominious period as offices and then dereliction, it was sumptuously restored and re-opened in 2011.
It has retained many of the hotel and the station's original features, from the glass-and-steel canopied station entrance - now the sprawling Hansom Lounge; a popular meeting place for coffee, cakes and afternoon tea - to the cantilevered, stone, Grand Staircase that leads to the Chambers Suites. These 38 rooms, created from the original bedrooms, are suitably grand in scale - high ceilings, vast Gothic windows, marble fireplaces - but, unless you choose one of the signature suites, are understatedly luxurious rather than opulent. Expect silky-soft bedlinen, feature walls and marble bathrooms with carefully chosen pieces of drama in sparkly mirrors and contemporary lighting. Signature suites are something else; some with free-standing baths, others with spectacular wallpaper or rich-coloured panelling, another with an oriel window. Most bedrooms are in the new Barlow Wing, an award-winning and sympathetically designed extension - red-brick, Gothic-style windows - and are generous in size and contemporary-elegant in style with feature walls and clean-lined furnishings. Opt for a room with views overlooking the comings and goings of St Pancras Station below.
Eating choices include the smart and glittering Gilbert Scott Restaurant, where classic British dishes are overseen by Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, and the Booking Office (the original station ticket office) with its exposed brickwork, stone rib-work and high, red-painted ceiling. Rich, warm and buzzy, this bar and restaurant offers classic British food - Caesar salad, grilled calf's liver, smoked salmon and haddock fishcakes - old-fashioned cocktails and punches, and craft beer served in pewter tankards. There's also the casual Mi and Me, beside the station concourse, with its simple cheese and meat platters.
And deep in the basement, in the former kitchens, is a delicious womb-like spa. Small and intimate, it offers six treatment rooms and a richly tiled, relaxation pool and steam-room area that resembles a Turkish bath. After a day doing London's sights, or checking out the hipster joints in nearby King's Cross, this is bliss.”
Written by Helen Pickles
“What is there to do in the area?
King’s Cross is one of London’s most exciting new neighbourhoods. The area offers a huge amount to see and do including a wealth of museums (The Wellcome Collection, The Foundling Museum and Regent’s Canal Museum ) range of art galleries (The Gagosian, House of Illustration and Pagolin) alongside many other cultural activities including The British Library and King’s Cross Theatre. Foodies are spoilt for choice with a wide range of cafes, bars and restaurants including Dishoom, Grain Store, Vinoteca and Caravan.
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
Continental Breakfast Buffet: £19 per person
Choice of cereals, home-made granola, seasonal fruit salad with
natural yoghurt, freshly baked pastries and breads served with butter,
preserves, marmalade and honey
Great British Breakfast Buffet: £26 per person
The continental breakfast and a selection of eggs, dry cured streaky
bacon, Cumberland sausages, roasted tomatoes and breakfast potatoes.
The Full English: £18
Two eggs as you like them, Cumberland sausage, dry cured streaky bacon, roast vine tomatoes, black pudding, Portobello mushroom, baked beans
Vegetarian Full English £16
Two eggs as you like them, Glamorgan sausage, roast vine tomatoes, Portobello mushroom, bubble and squeak, baked beans
Do you offer other meals? And can you recommend good places to eat out locally?
The hotel has 4 places to eat:
1) The Booking Office (classic British menu and cocktail/wine bar)
2) Hansom Lounge (light snacks and drinks plus afternoon tea)
3) MI + ME (Meat and cheese based menu to eat in or takeaway)
4) The Gilbert Scott (Traditional British menu)
Foodies are spoilt for choice with a wide range of cafes, bars and restaurants including Dishoom, Grain Store, Vinoteca, Caravan, The Lighterman, Granger & Co, The German Gymnasium, Skip Garden Café, KERB street food market, The Greek Larder and Mildreds.
Which are your most popular room types, and why?
Chambers Suites, as people enjoy staying in a piece of history and recognise the great value staying in these special spaces provides (guests staying in Chambers have access to the exclusive Chambers Club which service complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea/evening canapés and soft and alcoholic drinks throughout the day)
What facilities do you have for children and can you fit extra beds in your rooms ?
Children swimming pool times
Mocktails in the Booking Office
Welcome pack for kids
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
Make sure to book on to one of the complimentary historical tours we offer to guests at the weekend.
These 1 hour tours are led by an expert historian and really help bring to life the building’s fascinating history.”